Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Diversity

We define diversity as an institutional and academic philosophy that encourages the representation, protection, and integration of a variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews resulting from differences in culture, background, and circumstance. Such differences include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, ability, socioeconomic status, country of origin, and intellectual perspectives. Diversity and respect for diversity are crucial to DACC’s mission as it improves educational outcomes and provides students, faculty, and staff opportunities for civic engagement, workplace success, and leadership in a multicultural and globally connected world.

Equity

Equity is ensuring social justice, fair treatment, opportunities, career and educational advancement, and help to students, faculty, and staff at DACC, while striving to identify and remove barriers that have prevented the full participation and equivalent outcomes of diverse populations and historically underrepresented and oppressed individuals and groups.

Inclusion

Inclusion refers to the active, ongoing, and intentional commitment to diversity—in curricular activities, co-curricular activities, and in communities (social, cultural, virtual, and geographical) with which people might connect—by creating an environment where students, faculty, and staff and marginalized individuals and groups feel welcome, a sense of belonging, valued, supported, and are empowered to participate as a part of DACC and its decision-making processes. An inclusive environment celebrates and welcomes the awareness and discussion of racial, social, educational, experiential, and intellectual differences and strives to include those who are commonly, historically, or currently excluded.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As the DACC mission states, we are “committed to providing quality, innovative, and accessible learning experiences which meet the lifelong academic, cultural and economic needs of our diverse communities and the world we share.” Achievement of such an ambitious mission requires an active and ongoing commitment to diversity in its broadest sense, as well as the inclusion of people and perspectives from diverse backgrounds that comprise our learning community. Certainly, we cannot achieve equity without such a lasting commitment.

We acknowledge that our mission is best realized when we celebrate and welcome diversity in its complexity. And we embrace the fact that each individual in our community offers special characteristics, experiences, values, and worldviews that contribute to open dialogue and civic engagement. We believe that a diverse community and its many perspectives improve and enhance the employment, educational, and social experiences at DACC.

Thus, we aim to develop equity and inclusion, striving to demonstrate those values in our institutional and organizational culture. We are committed to creating an environment at DACC where everyone feels welcome, a sense of belonging, valued, supported, and empowered to participate and thrive, especially those from underrepresented and oppressed groups. We aim to recognize and support the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff and implement creative strategic diversity planning, collaboration, and leadership to achieve our goals of equity and inclusion.

We know that creating a diverse environment sometimes comes with disagreements. But the collegial experience is not only about agreement and comfort; it is also about learning with one another from the debates and questions that are key to progress and education. Thus, we welcome individuals and groups of the community to engage with different views in a spirit of respect, courage, integrity, inquiry, and honesty. We strive to work collaboratively toward a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community with civility—developing an environment that is both healthy and safe.

The diversity, equity, and inclusion we want to pursue at DACC are built into the kind of community and students we take pleasure in serving. Therefore, we embrace and support broad and specific diversity programs and initiatives, capitalize on the institutional, organizational, and educational advantages of diversity, and engage with all individuals to help them succeed.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees
October 28, 2021